The Indian cricket team cemented its place as the number one team in ODI cricket, while a resolute Afghanistan rose to the 10th spot in the latest ICC One-Day rankings issued on Wednesday.
India defeated South Africa by 73 runs in the fifth ODI in Port Elizabeth for a 4-1 lead in the six-match series, consolidating their position at the top of the table.
Even if South Africa win the sixth and final ODI on Friday in Centurion, India will remain No.1 on 121 points, while South Africa will end on 119 points, the ICC said in a statement.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, have moved ahead of Zimbabwe in 10th spot after winning the third ODI in Sharjah on Tuesday. To hold on to this place, Afghanistan will have to win the series, which culminates on February 19.
India had entered the six-match series in the second position on 119 points, two points behind leaders South Africa. After taking a 4-1 lead, India have moved to 122 points, while South Africa have dropped to 118 points.
If India win the series 5-1, they will finish on 123 points, while South Africa will end on 117 points. Tuesday’s result has given additional context to the upcoming five-match ODI series between New Zealand and England.
Irrespective of the outcome of Friday’s match between South Africa and India, if England win all the five matches against New Zealand, Eoin Morgan’s side will claim the second position, with South Africa slipping to third.
This is the first time since October 2017 and fifth overall that India have finished on top of the ODI rankings following the conclusion of a series since rising to No.1 for the first time in January 2013.